Validating the British Index for Inclusion for the Australian context: stage one
This paper presents a summary of outcomes from the first stage of a 3-year project funded through the Australian Research Council Strategic Partnership Industry Research Training (ARC-SPIRT) scheme and the Catholic Education Office in Victoria. This longitudinal study, in Catholic primary and secondary schools, will investigate the effectiveness and sustainability of a whole-school approach to improving inclusive practice, strengthening transition networks outside the school and improving learning for students with disabilities. The first stage of the project evaluates the recently developed Index for Inclusion (2000). The Index clearly provides a valuable starting point, but as it was developed in the UK, there is a need to establish its validity for use in the Australian context. There is a need, therefore, to ensure its content fits with local 'cultures' including Commonwealth legislation and State and school-level policy legislation. The paper reports on a six-phase process of validation and modification including both quantitative and qualitative analyses and the resulting trial versions of four questionnaires.
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